When men are not making enough thyroid hormones it triggers the typical symptoms of hypothyroidism along along with some specific male-related symptoms.
In most cases men experience fatigue, weight gain, mood changes PLUS low testosterone, reduced sex drive and sexual dysfunction which can manifest as erectile problems and low sperm count.
The drop in circulating free testosterone has noticeable effects on mood, energy levels, behaviour…even zest for life!
Unfortunately symptoms of thyroid problems in men are often overlooked as it’s more common for women to suffer with thyroid complaints.
The truth is men experience thyroid troubles too, it’s not just a women’s health issue. What’s more, studies show the risk of developing thyroid dysfunction rises significantly with ageing.
What Men Need To Know About Getting Their Thyroid Checked
The small, butterfly-shaped thyroid gland produces hormones that play an important role in many of the body’s biological processes. As such, men can develop number of health related problems if thyroid hormone levels are not restored to an optimal level.
Thyroid symptoms shouldn’t be ignored as undiagnosed hypothyroidism is associated with long-term effects.
Diagnosing a thyroid problem is the same no matter if you are male or female. To ensure you get a reliable diagnosis a thyroid specialist will take a full medical history, discuss the symptoms you are experiencing, check for a family history of thyroid disease, run thyroid blood tests and perform a physical examination of the neck.
Thyroid Dysfunction And Male Infertility
There is also this to consider when men are experiencing infertility issues.
It is known that thyroid dysfunction has an adverse effect on fertility. The reason is, the thyroid hormones are needed for proper male reproductive function and a healthy sperm count. Therefore, a comprehensive check of thyroid function should be done as part of a general male fertility assessment.
The symptoms of thyroid problems in men are not always straightforward and may be easily missed. I therefore recommend you speak to a healthcare practitioner who is well versed in thyroid problems as it can save years of feeling unwell. It’s especially important that men don’t get fobbed off when raising their concerns as men can easily develop hypothyroidism too.
Condorelli RA, La Vignera S, Mongioì LM, et al. Thyroid Hormones and Spermatozoa: In VitroEffects on Sperm Mitochondria, Viability and DNA Integrity. J Clin Med. 2019;8(5):756. Published 2019 May 27.
Huo S, Scialli AR, McGarvey S, et al. Treatment of Men for “Low Testosterone”: A Systematic Review. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0162480. Published 2016 Sep 21.
Kumar A, Shekhar S, Dhole B. Thyroid and male reproduction. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014;18(1):23-31.
Meikle AW. The interrelationships between thyroid dysfunction and hypogonadism in men and boys. Thyroid. 2004;14 Suppl 1:S17-25.
Nussey S, Whitehead S. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers; 2001. Chapter 3, The thyroid gland. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK28/
Straftis AA, Gray PB. Sex, Energy, Well-Being and Low Testosterone: An Exploratory Survey of U.S. Men’s Experiences on Prescription Testosterone. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(18):3261. Published 2019 Sep 5.